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Spotlight on Our “Design Your Own Exact Path Contest” Winners

Spotlight on Our “Design Your Own Exact Path Contest” Winners

This past fall, teachers from across the U.S. designed their own Exact Path contests to help close academic gaps, motivate learning, and accelerate growth for K–12 students at all achievement levels.

More than 80 educators from different classrooms, grade levels, and schools held their very own contests and shared with us their inspiring contest plans for a chance to win a $500 gift card for their school. After drawing two winners, congratulations are in order to Cardinal Middle School in Eldon, Iowa, and TRECA Digital Academy in Marion, Ohio! Today, we will dive in to the engaging and effective contests they created and share their top tips for success, whether class takes place virtually or in person.


Q: Describe your contest plans.

A: Shelby Shull, Cardinal Middle School

Every day during our intervention period, I have my [6th grade math] students get on Exact Path. Exact Path is perfect for meeting the needs of each student individually. . . . Each week, the goal has been set for 60 minutes. I wanted to set an attainable goal that students would be able to achieve and be successful with the program.

A: Kristina McLaughlin, TRECA Digital Academy

We hosted a class competition contest for grades 9 and 10 English students based on the number of mastery Trophies earned. We had students set personal goals, as well as teacher-set goals for the whole class. One of our goals was to have students earn at least five Trophies during the contest period.  We have individual rewards, as well as a winning class reward. Our contest ran November 1 through January 10 to provide students the opportunity to continue learning throughout winter break. This helps us start 2021 with some opportunities to celebrate the success of individual students, as well as a class!


Q: How did you motivate and reward participating students?

A: Shelby Shull, Cardinal Middle School

The Monday following each week of a challenge, I recognized all students who achieved the goal for the week. I took time out of each Monday to recognize the students to show them how important their work is. I printed out the certificates from the toolkit and rewarded the students with a piece of candy as well. The students were always so proud when they got their certificate! I also used the trackers from the toolkit. Those helped students stay on track and held them accountable—I love that those were available!

Printable trophy trackers from the Exact Path Contest Toolkit used on the class bulletin board

Our contest plans also entailed a "house system," in which each class had its own "house" name and competed against others. If everyone in the class completed the challenge for the week, the house won 150 points. At the end of a three-week period, the house points were reset.

A: Kristina McLaughlin, TRECA Digital Academy

To motivate and reward students, we awarded badges in [our learning management system], shared Exact Path certificates from the toolkit over email, and posted announcements with the Trophy count on our course newsfeed on a weekly basis. We will also raffle off gift cards to individual students to encourage their continued participation and give away some TRECA swag too! We plan to host a fun live session with the winners where we play an online game together.

At the end of the semester, the top Trophy earners were spotlighted for a fall cup themed after TRECA’s mascot, Navi.

Online announcement for the fall semester’s top Trophy earners


Q: What do you and/or your students love most about Exact Path as we navigate this school year?

A: Shelby Shull, Cardinal Middle School

From the teacher side of things, I enjoy that each student is getting what they personally need instead of doing something that is not at their level. I like that I can track each student's progress (see their time, activities completed, etc.). I like that I can pull reports and see where kids are struggling and I can give them more one-on-one time with certain skills that they need. All around, I LOVE Exact Path!

From the students’ side, they really are drawn to Exact Path. . . .  They like to compete with themselves. They love earning the Trophies and getting certificates. I have students BEG me to let them do Exact Path!

A: Kristina McLaughlin, TRECA Digital Academy

We love that every student has a unique path based on their strengths and areas that need development. As many students have no diagnostic score upon entering our school, Exact Path allows us to deliver a diagnostic to all students that allows us to create a path for success for each student!


Snag some ideas from this blog post that you like? The giveaway may be over, but learning never stops! Continue leveraging our contest toolkit to create exciting Exact Path contests that motivate and inspire students to achieve their individual growth goals. Start here to design your next contest.


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Jiana Khazma

Jiana is a Marketing Specialist on the Edmentum team. She loves supporting the company's #EducatorFirst philosophy through helpful content creation. Jiana previously worked in higher education and holds a B.A. from The University of Texas at Dallas.